2. More familiarity in Matt LaFleur’s system
Aaron Rodgers had spent his entire NFL career working in Mike McCarthy’s offense. Making a transition to a new system is never easy and can take some time. It’s hardly surprising we saw moments of dominance from the Packers offense last season but also far too much inconsistency. Plays were there to be made, but oftentimes Rodgers and his receivers weren’t on the same page.
That comes down to communication, as well as a familiarity with the scheme. The Rodgers-Jordy Nelson connection was built over many years, but it became one of the best in the NFL.
Comparisons have been made to the Atlanta Falcons offense from 2015 to 2016. Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator with Matt LaFleur as his quarterbacks coach. In 2015, Devonta Freeman had a breakout year as an explosive running back who could also catch passes. They had an elite wide receiver in Julio Jones. Sound familiar? But the offense was inconsistent and the Falcons struggled to build on a 5-0 start, finishing 8-8.
Quarterback Matt Ryan even admitted to being “overwhelmed” at times by Shanahan’s playbook. But that soon changed. In year two, Ryan won his first league MVP award and the Falcons led the league in scoring offense, averaging just under 34 points per game.
The Packers have the pieces in place to make a similar jump. Familiarity in LaFleur’s scheme can help the offense make a jump.